Do you remember Expo.02?

In summer 2002, a grandiose project brought all of Switzerland together: the national exhibition, Expo.02. While the youngest children remember their school trip to the cloud of Yverdon, the older ones recall with nostalgia the festive evenings on the Jeunes Rives in Neuchâtel. Here is a stroll full of memories and emotions of the various Expo.02 arteplages.

Me and the universe

Arteplage of Yverdon-les-Bains

The firmly artistic pavilions of Yverdon-les-Bains invited visitors to reflect on sensations and emotions. 31,140 nozzles and 80 pumps were needed to create a genuine floating cloud above the lake, which became iconic!

Nature and artifice

Arteplage of Neuchâtel

Robots and artificial intelligence were already topical in 2002. In Neuchâtel, exhibitions and events presented the latest technology developments to the public. After these serious themes, visitors could enjoy the warm summer evenings by the lake.

Power and freedom

Arteplage of Biel

The very Swiss themes of money and banks were addressed on Biel's arteplage. Artist Ben's provocative introduction (a machine turining CHF 100 banknotes into confettis!) didn't fail to raise questions among spectators. The younger ones probably remember the ride in a giant shopping trolley...

Instant and eternity

Arteplage of Murten

Architect Jean Nouvel's monolith off the coast of Murten immediately piqued the public's curiosity. Inside, they discovered a huge fresco depicting the famous battle of Murten.

Sense and motion

Arteplage mobile du Jura

Sometimes called "the Jura barge" or "the pirate ship", the Jura arteplage linked the four host cities of Expo.02. Shows mixing mischief and irony were presented on board.

Expo.02: what legacy?

If Expo.02 is ephemeral, the collaboration initiated between the cantons of Vaud, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Bern and Jura is lasting. Indeed the Jura & Three-Lakes tourism association was founded in 2012.

Initially conceived as a temporary work, the Hotel Palafitte has been preserved. Built on stilts, it is now one of the gems of the Jura & Three-Lakes region.

Since Expo.02, thousands of sustainable transport fans have still been meeting every year at the SlowUp around Lake Murten. An opportunity to reminisce!

The pavilions of Yverdon-les-Bains have now given way to a large park for relaxation and leisure where the locals and travellers like to meet.

While hiking through the Gorges de l'Areuse, nature lovers take a beautiful footbridge, whose wooded architecture recalls the Palais de l'Equilibre.

Built in 2002, LACabane still hosts cultural exhibitions on the shores of Lake Murten. Its rusty shell evokes Jean Nouvel's monolith.

The Rotary Bridge, which spans the Broye Canal, symbolises the "Röstigraben", ie. the cultural boundary between German-speaking and French-speaking parts of Switzerland. Inaugurated in 2002, it was completely restored in 2022.


  • Association des Anciens d'Expo.02
  • Eichenberger, I. (2009). Expo.02, cela vous dit quelque chose? SwissInfo
  • Jubin, S. (2002). Pour être pris au sérieux à Expo.02, l'arteplage mobile du Jura jouera l'ironie et l'impertinence. Le Temps
  • Rezzonico, M. (2022). L'exposition nationale Expo.02, euphorie éphémère. RTS Archives